Smart Ways to Make a Positive Relationship with Your Child’s Teacher
I think it’s safe to say that the jitters and anxiety associated with a new school year doesn’t just pertain to our kids. Every teacher has their unique way of running things and, as parents, we have to learn their rules and organization methods almost as thoroughly as our children do if we want to know what’s going on. This anxiety is magnified when your child has conditions like ADHD, Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), or other conditions that can stir up problems in the classroom. So whether you just want to be in the know or you’re anticipating a storm, establishing a good relationship with your child’s teacher is an important step.
Parent to Teacher
Ways to establish a great parent and teacher relationship to improve your child’s educational experience.
A great first step is to contact the teacher, especially if your child requires special accommodations or has some quirks that need managing. Let your child’s teacher know that you’re aware and actively working with your child to help things run smoothly. Also make sure you let them know you want to be aware if there are any problems or if they have questions. An open dialogue is critical to addressing issues and keeping everyone involved happy. It’s also important that your first communications are positive. If you wait to make contact until there is a problem, you run the risk of forever identifying yourself as the disgruntled parent in the teacher’s mind.
Establishing goals for the term or school year is a great tool to help your child focus and grow. It’s also a good plan to communicate those goals to your child’s teacher. Teachers love to see their students succeed and if they know what your child is working on, they’re usually only too happy to help nudge them along when they see an opportunity to help. I used this one with my daughter last year. She struggled the first two terms with staying on task. She’s a very rewards oriented person so we offered her an incentive if she could earn an on task on her report card before the end of the year. My daughter mentioned the pending reward to her teacher and her sweet teacher worked with her and made a point to tell me that she had earned her on task for the fourth term.
Attending back-to-school night, parent-teacher conferences and class parties and field trips are all great ways to strengthen the relationship with your child’s teacher. This communicates that you’re interested in your child’s success as well as the success of the rest of the class. It also gives you more opportunities to meet with, talk to and familiarize yourself with their teacher. Despite their obvious signs of super powers, teachers are human and they are far more likely to work with you if they can attach a face and personality to that email address.
I’m a firm believer in parental intuition. We know our children, we have their best interests at heart, and sometimes we just know. But sometimes that mother-knows-best attitude can make it all too easy to be overbearing. We know what’s best so why wouldn’t everyone want to handle our child exactly how we say? Right? Take it from someone who knows and is related to quite a few teachers, not all our good ideas are feasible. So you’re probably wondering what all this has to do with listening. This last piece of advice is to listen to the teacher’s suggestions. Your child is in their classroom. Your child also spends quite a substantial amount of time with their teacher. They can develop some helpful ideas of their own and an outsiders perspective can be invaluable. And when you demonstrate that you value their opinions and ideas, it makes it easier for them to show you the same courtesy.
Open communication and strong relationships with teachers are great preemptive strikes to unsavory situations and, even better, they can decrease stress and lead to a smoother, more functional school year.
Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning disabilities achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs
10 Jan 2017